Sanctus Infernum
Martyr (2009)

Related to Sanctus Infernum from Kansas there had already been a review, so I would leave the introduction of biographical information out again, since everything can be checked at the end of the page. The subject of this text is the new material which is not even that fresh – the second run entitled Martyr came out last year. No special conceptional change happened in the fields of design and music, except that I still prefer their previous album. Let’s see how deep will the American horde drag me.

We get the usual well-trodden slow mills from the massive riffs, the beginning could even be Obituary but of course we get a big load of doom among the marching old school death metal elements, and just to make us scrape the walls or our weary veins even black metal’s carnivorous claws grasp into our ears. True enough the last genre’s presence is rather supposed than real. With their slow constructions Sanctus Infernum smother us, then they kneel atone with gloomy solos. When I could compare the depths to Neurosis at the first place on the debut, now such bands came to my mind: Obituary, Bolt Thrower or Morgoth. Somewhere in the background even the blunt vibes of Death and Pestilence are working, but this wallowing in a bed of splinters is just a simple polarization. The grove is covered and complete in blood & dying hits into our heads the old values of mind and ignorance with its hammer, in every second. The marching death themes lead on next to the murmuring doom flaps & the bass lines are so fucking dirty and grimy that any early grind gang could envy this sound! In the streaming doom flood, stoner and heavy themes join in easily where the atmospheric melodies are not being destroyed by the massive riffs. Incidentally, both the digipack format and the studio job give a correct overall picture of the American motherfuckers who have recently changed label. I haven’t even mentioned their intimate and incredibly sick lyrics yet; those are about to sacrifice the dear listener on the altar of pain and rhythmic self-destruction. The guys show a somewhat new face up, especially because of the writhing that embrace the whole album; the debut didn’t lack the fast and grimy themes either, but such a slow decay can rarely be heard, growing its deadly tendrils on the depths of our souls.

I don’t feel this material as gross and self-consuming as their 2008 stuff, but they managed to enthral me and nothing will wash their pain away, the only exception might be the closing track which really is a pleasant surprise with its wonderful melodies, talkative self-creation & female voice, and its folk vibe hidden in the background. Here we can hear both clean and melodic vocals, of course in spite of those, Ricky Vannatta brings his usual seething voice. At speed we get the most right here as well, it’s an interesting ending for the material. All of this show how colourful this group can be, if they want it that way, though their initial identity streams blood and darkness.

/English translation by Vorst/

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